June 2015 – ECUADOR – National Secretary for Risk Management Maria del Pilar Cornejo confirmed today that continues the white alert for the Ecuadorian volcano Cotopaxi, in order to keep people ready in case of eruptions. Though a sudden eruption is discarded, the state of alert will stay in the surroundings of the five thousand 943 meters Colossus, located 45 kilometers to the southeast of Quito, said the Secretary. Cornejo reiterated that it is necessary to stay informed about the volcano activity, which is monitored with lahar-detection system, seismographs, GPS, electronic inclinometers, video cameras and satellites to detect hot spots. Cotopaxi is one of the world’s highest active volcanoes and it is the second highest summit in the country, after the Chimborazo volcano, with six thousand 268 meters above the sea level.
During the past weeks, the Colossus increased seismic activity, and gas and sulphur dioxide emissions, according to the Geophysical Institute, which, despite the volcano’s history, ruled out an imminent eruption. The mountain is considered one of the most dangerous in the world due to the frequency of emissions, glacier coverage and number of population potentially exposed to the volcano’s threat. Since the beginning of the Spanish conquest, the Cotopaxi had five large explosive periods: 1532-1534, 1742-1744, 1766-1768, 1853-1854 and 1877-1880. The Cotopaxi’s outbursts can cause lahars, which could run through densely populated areas, such as Latacunga, Mulalo and Valle de los Chillos. Specialists estimate that more than 300 thousand people of Ecuador live in areas threatened by lahars, as occurred in earlier centuries. The ash expelled during the eruption Cotopaxi volcano could affect a significant part of the mountains and coastal area of Ecuador. –Prensa